Police have denied meddling in student politics after opposition claims some armed details from the controversial law enforcement agency stormed a University of Zimbabwe student representative election Friday to beat up learners and further stop an opposition aligned union from celebrating victory over a Zanu PF linked one.
Wild skirmishes marred the UZ Student Representative Council election which saw CCC aligned ZINASU’s Allan Chipoyi win the presidency.
ZICOSU President, Darlington Chiwa, became the Vice President.
While disagreements ensued during the election, police came in for strong criticism by the opposition for overplaying their hand by allegedly beating up students and further stopping students aligned to ZINASU from celebrating victory.
Posting on Twitter Saturday, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere accused police of beating up students.
“We’ve received disturbing reports that violence broke out at the UZ yesterday after ZICOSU lost the election to ZINASU. It is reported that armed @PoliceZimbabwe beat up students. This is not the Zimbabwe we want. Students must be allowed to make choices without persecution,” Mahere said.
But in a statement Saturday, police denied meddling in student affairs.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to set the record straight that no interference was done by the police during the University of Zimbabwe Student Representative Council elections held on 01st July 2022,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.
“The police was called in after some missiles had been thrown in the room where votes were being counted and validated, resulting in windows being damaged at the building.
“Police said they have received complaints by the rival student unions on the violence.
“It is wrong for politicians to claim that police beat and stopped members of ZINASU from celebrating victory or their members being elected into the University of Zimbabwe Student Representative Council’s structures as President.”
Nyathi added, “Politicians are reminded to stay in their spaces and not involve the police in issues which have nothing to do with policing.”